Transhumanity - Are we becoming a collective technological species - Featuring this article + our book on Transhumanity - Humanity vs technology
Are we becoming a collective technological species?
Becoming the Borg?
The internal voices that commanded bicameral humans eventually fell silent, and humanity was forever changed.
An intriguing, albeit highly controversial, idea very much like this was actually proposed by Julian Jaynes, an American psychologist who taught at Princeton University. In his 1976 book, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Jaynes theorizes that human consciousness—by which he means the ability and tendency to think about ourselves as individuals—emerged suddenly, and relatively recently in history, around 3,000 years ago. That would mean that anatomically modern humans were alive for hundreds of thousands of years before becoming conscious.
Jaynes argues that before this recent emergence of consciousness, humanity experienced the world in a manner similar to the Borg. There was not a holistic self with free will, but rather a two-part psyche, or “bicameral mind,” in which one part gave “orders” to a second part that acted on those orders. For bicameral humans, “volition came as a voice that was in the nature of a neurological command, in which the command and the action were not separated, in which to hear was to obey.” Jaynes says these commands were often perceived as coming from gods, and that they live on today as the internally hallucinated voices heard by some schizophrenics.
Individual Borg rarely speak, though they do send a collective audio message to their targets, stating that "resistance is futile", generally followed by a declaration that the target in question will be assimilated and its "biological and technological distinctiveness" will be added to their own. The exact phrasing varies and evolves over the various series episodes and film. One phrase, from TNG, is:
"We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile."
The complete phrase used in Star Trek: First Contact, as performed by Jeff Coopwood is:
"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.